Imagine Business without Computers
Posted Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 by
How would companies operate without computers? The simple answer is: Very, very slowly. Computers are so essential to the American economy it’s hard to believe they only became common in small businesses about 30 years ago. But there was a time just a generation ago when typewriters, not keyboards, ruled, and electric adding machines were the closest things accountants had to automated bookkeeping.
Here are six of the major revolutions computers have brought to American business, and how we’ve all benefited from them:
1. Record-Keeping. Prior to computers, companies kept records on paper and stored them in file cabinets. Not only did this require a lot of physical space, but finding files manually was often a tedious, time-consuming process. Today, most records are stored in electronic databases that can be accessed from anywhere in the world as long as you have an Internet connection, username and password.
2. Accounting. Imagine doing a large company’s accounting, bookkeeping and payroll by hand. Entering all those numbers in a ledger could quickly make your fingers cramp. Human error was also a common problem. With computers, mathematical errors are virtually unheard of. (Data entry errors are another matter.) And we can make financial projections – even with multiple variables – in seconds instead of the hours – or days – required when doing them manually.
3. Word Processing. Before computers, most business documents were created on typewriters – first manual and then electric. When typing a document, accuracy was critical; any mistake had to be erased (or covered with white ink) and typed over. Or you just ripped the paper out, crumpled it up and started all over again. Making multiple copies required using carbon paper. (Yes, this is where the term “carbon copy” or “cc” comes from.) Word processing programs, introduced in the mid-1970s, allowed office workers to create, correct and distribute documents electronically. Spell-checking and grammar programs further improved the accuracy of business documents. Wastebaskets everywhere rejoiced!
4. Image Creation and Manipulation. When dealing with photos, drawings and other images in the precomputer era, you needed a worktable, a good X-ACTO knife, a straight edge and a very steady hand. Any image or color corrections required a photo lab and/or airbrush. Today, anyone running Photoshop can create, adjust and manipulate images in ways that used to require years of experience and thousands of dollars in specialized equipment.
5. Research. Perhaps the most revolutionary aspect of the computer age is how fast we can get and exchange information. Want to know the gross domestic product of Zimbabwe? The number of miles the star Alpha Centauri is from Earth? Lady Gaga’s natural hair color? An information search that would have taken you hours at the public library can now be done in seconds via an Internet search engine. It doesn’t matter what line of business you’re in; if you can’t find the answer you need in less than a minute, you need to find a 12-year-old who can.
6. e-Commerce. In the past 20 years, e-commerce has become a huge part of the American economy, accounting for $135 billion in sales in the United States in 2009.* Virtually every major retailer now has a presence on the Web, and some companies, such as Amazon.com, exist solely in cyberspace.
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Science at Everest University Online
If you would like to be part of the business computing industry, a great place to start is with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Science from Everest University Online, a division of Everest University. Everest’s Computer Information Science online degree program provides instruction in a range of business-relevant subjects, including:
- Principles of accounting
- Computer applications
- Database concepts
- Computer networking fundamentals
- Computer operating systems
- Project development
- Programming concepts
Because this program is online, you can earn your degree while keeping your current job or taking care of your family. Set your own schedule and proceed at your own pace. In as little as four years, you can have your bachelor’s degree and the support of Everest’s Career Services team, which can help you leverage your new degree into a new, exciting career.
Don’t put your future on hold. Contact Everest University Online today!
Financial aid is available for those who qualify.